This is a little late as we had the talk a few days after my previous post.
After realizing that one of my closest friends and I could not continue on without addressing some ongoing issues between us, we decided to sit down and have The Talk.
I was nervous before heading over as I was waiting until her two boys were in bed so that we would have some time to ourselves. I headed over shortly after 7pm with a bottle of wine – one for me and one for her. I had already quit drinking back at the start of February to help my body get as healthy as possible but I felt as though this was a worthy occasion. When I got there, we were briefly chatting in her kitchen when all of a sudden, her youngest (approx 16 months old) began crying and was not going to sleep for her husband. This lead to our conversation being put on hold for nearly half an hour; however, it gave me time to get a glass of wine down to calm myself a little more.
Once the kids were sleeping, we sat down and just started talking like we always do, as though there was no tension between us at all. After an hour and a half, we both realized that we needed to get to the reason for this planned chat. We jumped into things head first and we were both able to express our frustrations. I was able to bring up everything I had been feeling; obviously in a caring and positive manner to not make her feel blamed for anything. She brought up how she had been feeling neglected as a friend – which I fully took responsibility for my actions and distance. We cried, we drank, we laughed and then cried some more.
It was a very cathartic and therapeutic experience and our relationship is even stronger because of it. For a while, I had held back from telling her much about this process of IVF/egg donation because I felt as though she did not understand our situation at all but I realize that I was only making myself feel more isolated. We have since talked about how she can best support me, and how I can best support her in the struggles of parenthood; without making each other feel worse.
I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, or a better friend. Thanks to those who supported me to have the talk and to repair our friendship – it was definitely a game changer.
I have read over and over that the journey in TTC can be very isolating and I never realized how utterly true those words are until recently when I began to self reflect on my relationship with one of my closest girlfriends. I have been lying to myself for quite some time now, telling myself that we haven’t been drifting apart….that I haven’t been pulling away. It has been just that though, a lie.
Things have recently come to a head – not in terms of a fight or argument – but in terms of both of us recognizing and vocalizing that something needs to change and that we need to talk. So here we are with plans to sit down for a heart to heart. It couldn’t be more needed but I am also dreading it. I hate conflict and I hate hurting others… not that I plan to say anything hurtful but I find that being honest about my feelings may cause some self reflection of her own that she may not be expecting. I’m scared I won’t be able to sort out my thoughts and feelings into the right words when the time comes and I may do more damage than good so I’m going to try to list things here in semi-point-form….
- I admit that I have been pulling away in our relationship but sometimes it can be so hard when she is so involved in her role as a mother…I LOVE her children and am godmother to one; however, our time is no longer ours – it is always theirs and I feel as though I am encroaching on that. It is not that I blame her or them, it is how things should be between a mother and her children but I, as a priority, am lower on the list. At times when it is just the two of us – we are running errands or doing crafts or other things that she is making time for.
- When we hang out in a group setting or with any other mother, I can participate in approx. 15% of the conversations; the rest being about parenthood and children. I always eventually find myself in the proverbial corner sitting silently. However, who the hell am I to say that they shouldn’t be talking about the most important things in their lives?!
- Things have been said to me that I have held onto – hoping that time will pass and I will get over it; seeing as how I hate conflict and making others feel bad. Unfortunately, this has not been the case and the words have stuck with me and eat away at me and I have let them build into bitterness. “Why don’t you just adopt?” “Oh, just wait until you have kids and you’ll understand!” and in moments of her own frustration toward her wonderful son “Oh, I bed you just can’t WAIT to have a toddler….” FYI – I really really can’t. These are just some of the things that have stuck with me over the past few years but there have been a number of them; including, many many instances of her complaining about: lack of sleep due to her kids, messy house due to kids, general behavioural frustrations regarding her kids, etc. It is beyond hard to hear these things when wallowing in my own self pity of not having any children of my own.
- She has absolutely no understanding of the fact that everything to do with my journey is always running through my head. I may be able to distract myself at times but at some point throughout the day, if not the majority of my day, I will be thinking about having kids, wanting kids, and this TTC journey in general. She has no idea how much yearning, jealousy and bitterness I feel as I scroll through the endless FB announcements, walk past the children at the gym or around town, go to baby showers, or meeting friends’ new babies. Has no notion of how it feels to have your stomach drop to your feet, to feel that all to familiar lump in your throat and tears well up in your eyes. Again, by no means am I stating that I am not happy for my friends – I am over the moon for them – but my feelings need to be accounted for as well. And it’s crushing. When you don’t know how that feels – how can anyone possibly understand?
- So yes, I am feeling isolated. Yes, I am withdrawing for self-preservation. Yes, I am having a hard time accepting where our friendship lies because I’m going through one of the hardest journeys of my life to date….and I need my best friend.
If ANYONE out there has any advice on how to have such a heart to heart with someone whom you dearly love but just doesn’t understand – I am all ears.